In 1988, Willie Lloyd was convicted of murder. There was already a history of trouble in his family. His father was a leader of the Unknown Vice Lords in Chicago. Several members of his extended family were part of the gang culture. When he was 18 years old Willie Lloyd shot a man during a fight, and he went to jail. He was there for 23 years… until he was released last June.
Having paid his debt to society, Lloyd was in his early 40’s and faced with getting a job and making a living . He finally found a job as an instructor for Summit Academy OIC (Opportunity Industrialization Center), training other at-risk, low-income men and women, including released offenders. The program is a 20 week course that combines 10 weeks of classroom instruction with 10 weeks of job site learning. Another group is set to graduate from that program on February 3rd.
Willie Lloyd talked about his life and work with Bob Hines and Michelle Alimoradi on the KFAI Weekly News. [Audio below]